Apparently the plot isn’t all that thickens.
My most recent post for the mighty South Stands Denver addressed newly-minted Denver Broncos’ head coach Vance Joseph’s somewhat “swordid” departure from the University of Colorado back in 2004. Joseph was an assistant coach for the Buffs at the time and was accused of having an inappropriate sexual encounter with an athletic trainer in a steam room.
The timing of the incident was less than ideal since CU was in the midst of a Title IX nightmare fueled by salacious assertions of all kinds - including those that the football team allowed prostitutes to be employed in the recruitment of young players. The University basically buried the Joseph story and allowed him to move on in hopes that his misdoings would stay mostly under the radar. And they mostly did until now.
With the Broncos having hired Vance Joseph last week to be their “leader of men” various outlets have begun taking another look at Joseph’s past treatment of women. The latest of these outlets is the one that the Broncos would have probably least liked to see pursue the story … Deadspin.
A headline at Deadspin is never good.
Deadspin dug into a Boulder Daily Camera piece specifying a Boulder Police Department report from 2004 and, as the site is prone to do, squeezed it for delicious details.
While nobody pressed criminal charges against Vance Joseph what the Daily Camera story reveals is the kind of material no NFL team wants to see circulated about any coach - much less one they just committed to. The fine upstanding man that the team introduced to fans and media last week, who stood there with the same wife and daughter he had at the time of the CU incidents, is, according to documents, a big old boner-rubber.
According to the Deadspin piece a woman told police that Joseph came home with her and a friend to have some drinks and smoke some weed. The woman and her friend both got tired and went to bed. While she was in bed, the article claims, Joseph climbed in, touched her body, grabbed her breasts, and ran his erect penis against her. Then he pulled the same routine on her friend.
This information re-emerged in a deposition relating to the enormous Title IX lawsuit that CU eventually settled for nearly $3M. So while Joseph himself was never charged with a crime his behavior was credited with contributing to a culture of sex abuse at CU that led to a landmark court decision.
So what does this all matter now? Why is the legend of Bag-Her Vance of any concern to Broncos fans? Well, the incidents certainly speak to Joseph’s character. He has been held up as a Tony Dungy-like figure by the media, most of which is too dependant on the Broncos to pursue the story. It also calls into question Joseph’s ability to hold his players to a high behavioral standard.
Even without the emergence of this story there was plenty of reason to question the Broncos wisdom in hiring Joseph. His NFL experience would not seem to have made him the ideal candidate. But “in Elway we trust”. What I can’t help but wonder is whether the Broncos knew the extent of the accusations against Joseph and whether or not they would have made a difference in their choice to put him in charge of a championship team.